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What is Sarcoma?

Sarcoma Awareness

Sarcomas can affect almost any part of the body and are rare cancers that develop in the muscles, nerves, bones, cartilage, blood vessels, tendons and the fatty and fibrous tissues. There are three main types of sarcoma: soft tissue sarcoma, bone sarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). There are however approximately 100 different sub-types of sarcoma.

Not enough people know about sarcoma. There are around 3,800 new cases of sarcoma diagnosed in the UK every year, with 3,330 of these being soft tissue sarcoma and GIST, and approximately 500 people are diagnosed with bone sarcoma.

Although sarcomas can affect any part of the body, they mainly affect the arms, legs and torso. The stomach and intestines can also be affected as well as the female reproductive system. A key symptom of sarcoma is a lump that is quickly increasing in size and if diagnosed early then it could increase the survival rate by 20%.

Sarcoma is very rare but it’s important that if you do find a worrying lump then you should speak to your GP. It’s more likely to be a non-cancerous cyst or lipoma, but it’s best to get checked out! To find out more about Sarcoma visit: Cancer Research UK, Sarcoma UK and Macmillan.

If you or somebody you know needs advice then Sarcoma UK is a charity which offers personal support and expert information about sarcoma. They work with everyone from patients to health professionals and their mission is to increase the awareness of sarcoma, promote early diagnosis and improve patient satisfaction.

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